Sunday, May 06, 2007

British Regional Elections

Well done the Scottish and Welsh National Parties;
Tories too though could do better.
LibDems need morehomework or another leader.
Labour presently out of favour.

All the newspaper reports seem to follow the above themes
as regards the actual results and there is also
much criticism of the actual electoral arrangements
in Scotland but nowhere have I seen any
analysis of whether the traditional (in England anyway)
first past the post system is after all better
than the newer fangled continental-type
proportional representation/transferable vote
system.

The Lib Dems have long advocated something other
than first past the post. The Tories haven't but
usually seem to have to need far more votes overall
nationally than a simple majority to give them more MPs.

Despite its imperfections, one of the lessons to be learned from the British
election outcomes last week (The French outcome this week
may provide more food for thought however)
is that whatever the greater fairness on paper more sophisticated than
the first past the post voting sytems
may have in theory, in practice, simplest is best.
The Italian experiences over the years support that
view too.

The BBC now reports:

[quote] Two separate challenges to the results of the Scottish Parliament are being considered, it has emerged.
A lawyer is preparing to contest the outcome of the Glasgow region on behalf of those whose ballots were rejected.

And former minister Allan Wilson, who narrowly lost in Cunninghame North, is discussing the possibility of a court challenge with Labour party solicitors.

He lost to the SNP by 48 votes in a constituency where there were more than 1,000 rejected papers
[/quote]

From my neutral English perspective, I speculate
that the Scots National party were on a roll and
had the voting system been simpler that may
have been more clearly reflected in the outcomes.
As it is there is a mish mash of Legal actions
threatened; sour grapes being swallowed and
c.100,000 disenfranchised Scottish voters.

The real loser in all this is democracy.

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